Beginning unplugged woodworkers
often ask me the best kind of bench stop to use and I do not
hesitate to recommend a Morrill’s Patent adjustable stop mounted
in the wooden jaw of a tail vise and directly aligned with the
dog holes in the bench.
For those in this group who have never seen or
used this type of stop, this post is for you. There are two
types of Charles Morrill’s stop and I prefer the No. 1 which is
the model described and illustrated in this post.
It mounts in a mortised hole in the chop of a
tail vise and the post can be raised and lowered by loosing a
screw in the top surface, moving the post to the desired height,
and tightening the screw. The screw activates a cam that bears
on the vertical post and locks it firmly at the desired height
to hold a workpiece when the tail vise is screwed forward and
the workpiece is against a dog in a dog hole in the bench.
I have included several photos with captions to
illustrate the anatomy of a Morrill bench stop and how it is
mounted. If you are lucky, you may be able to find one of these
stops for under $20.00. They retail for about $35.00 on the
collector market. In my opinion, after using one for 40 years,
that is still a bargain.
This photo shows a Morrill bench stop mounted in the chop of a
The post top plate has a denticulated side and a plain side
The post can be removed and turned around so you can use the
This is a side view of this type of bench stop showing the
mechanism on the right.